The 15 most powerful people in wireline

Most powerful people in wirelineIf you take a look at our first annual 15 Most Powerful People in Wireline feature, you'll see many of the same people that FierceTelecom writes about every day in our industry coverage.

These people are the drivers behind the innovations and service initiatives that are transforming telecommunications industry's wireline segment from regulated providers of simple voice services into IP and broadband service providers.   

These days, the wireline executive--including network operators and their vendor partners--is faced with a number of challenges from hungry cable operators ready to eat their lunch as well as wireless operators that are enticing consumers and businesses alike to ditch their traditional black phones for smart phones that allow them to communicate anytime anywhere.

But where there are challenges there are multiple opportunities. Service providers and their vendor partners are targeting new innovations to deliver consumer-rich video service (FTTH services, IPTV and over-the-top video) and emerging business services (cloud and Ethernet).  

A number of our picks were chosen for different reasons. Our rankings have grouped industry segments such as the Tier 1 and Tier 2 telcos, vendors and other indusry influencers like the FCC and ARIN are based on what influence they have on the wireline segment of the telecom industry overall.

In Reed Hasting's case, the founder and CEO of Netflix may not be a traditional telecom executive, but there's no doubt that his all-you-can-eat video streaming service is driving greater amounts of bandwidth on every telco and cable broadband network.

Meanwhile, Glen Post, President and CEO of CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL), rapidly transformed the once small-town, voice-only rural telephone company into the third largest U.S.-based telco behind AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) by acquiring Qwest. In addition to the Qwest win, CenturyLink bolstered its cloud vision with a new deal to acquire Savvis Communications.

At the same time, some of our most powerful honorees are facing some of the biggest challenges of their career.

John Chambers, CEO of the mighty Cisco, is trying to realign the structure of his business by shedding some of the consumer assets that have struggled to be profitable--including the shuttering of its Flip camera business. Chambers is now trying to right the ship to restore investor and customer faith, including a refocus on Cisco's core routing and switching business and emerging areas like cloud services.

Of course, don't forget to take a look back at my colleagues at FierceWireless and their own annual Most Powerful People in Wireless feature.

Like FierceWireless, our list is also a compilation of the major game changers in the U.S. wireline industry.

Since I know not everyone is going to agree with our choices, I encourage you to share with us your thoughts in the comments section.--Sean

Wireline's Most Powerful People

1. Lowell McAdam, Verizon

2. Ralph de la Vega, AT&T

3. Glen Post, CenturyLink

4. John Chambers, Cisco

5. Ben Verwaayen, Alcatel-Lucent

6. Julius Genachowski, FCC

7. Reed Hastings, Netflix

8. Maggie Wilderotter, Frontier

9. Jeff Gardner, Windstream

10. Dave Wittwer, TDS

11. Jeff Storey, Level 3

12. John Curran, ARIN

13. Arunas Chesonis, PAETEC

14. Larissa Herda, tw telecom

15. Randy Nicklas, XO Communications

P.S. Feel free to vote in our poll: Who is the most powerful person in the wireline industry?

The 15 most powerful people in wireline